Commission calls on MSPs to embed human rights in efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals

Commission calls on MSPs to embed human rights in efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. 

As MSPs debate the progress Scotland has made towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) today (16 January), the Commission has encouraged parliamentarians to ensure that consideration is given to human rights issues.

The debate, led by Labour MSP Lewis MacDonald, will discuss the On Target for 2030? report by civil society organisations, co-ordinated and published by the UWS-Oxfam Partnership, which offers an overview of progress being made in Scotland against each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Ahead of today’s debate, the Commission has published its Briefing to MSPs highlighting the important link between human rights and the SDGs. In recognition of this link, the SDGs have already been embedded into Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) and the Commission routinely assesses policy and legislation through the lens of the SDGs.

Dr Alison Hosie, Research Officer for the Commission, said:

“At their heart, the Sustainable Development Goals seek to realise everyone’s human rights. They are inextricably linked: 92 per cent of the SDGs are relevant to realising people’s human rights.”

The briefing details a number of recommendations that could help the Scottish Parliament to better support the Scottish Government to deliver on its 2030 SDG targets, such as adopting a human rights based approach to the National Performance Framework (NPF); assessing new bills and legislation through a human rights and sustainable development lens; exploring the connection between human rights, SDGs and the NPF.

Read the Commission’s briefing in full here:


The Members’ Business debate will take place in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 16 January 2020 at 12.45pm.